Chapter 3 : School and Plans
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AN: Please read and review!
The first years were sorted and the feast was eaten, Hermione felt a bit nostalgic, knowing it was her last opening feast, her last sorting, unless she became a professor, she still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She would never admit it, but she cried just a little bit as the Rebecca Zur went to sit at the Hufflepuff table. Soon the feast was over, Ron had managed to eat even more disgustingly than usual, if that was even possible. Afterwards Hermione instructed the prefects to lead the new students to the dorms while she went to meet with the headmistress. When she got to the entrance to McGonagall’s office she noticed Malfoy waiting for her there.
“What are you waiting for?” She looked at him curiously. He scowled.
“I don’t have the password, do you?” Hermione shook her head. But then it seemed that they didn’t need a password, because the statue turned and the staircase revealed itself.
“I guess it just need both of us to be here.” They headed up the stairs. Draco knocked on the door at the top, and upon hearing “enter” from inside; he opened the door and held it open while Hermione entered. She thanked him quietly as they both took their seats. McGonagall turned away from her place looking out the window and took a seat.
“So, I called you two up here to talk about you two being Head’s together this year.” They nodded. “I expect you two to get along, at least when other students or teachers are around you. I know you can. I expect nothing less than civility. Now, the tradition of a Head’s dorm ended a few years ago when two students abused the privilege, but I am reinstating the Head’s common room. It will be a space you two will share where you can go to work on homework, Head’s duties, etc. I expect that you will not take advantage of this room. It is to be shared, I will not hear about one of you monopolizing the space. Is this all understood?” Hermione responded immediately.
“Of course Headmistress.” Draco nodded his agreement. McGonagall seemed satisfied.
“Well, then you two may go, but I must implore you, try to really get along.” She looked them each in the eyes. “I think that if you two really get to know one another, I think you will find you are more alike than you think.” She smiled as the two students got up and left her office.
“So what did the Professor McGonagall want with you and Malfoy?” Hermione had just gotten back to the Gryffindor common room, where Ron and Harry were waiting for her.
“Oh, just to threaten us to behave and try and be civil.” The boys laughed at that.
“What did she threaten you with?” Ron looked at her curiously.
“It was more of an unspecified, ‘or else’ kind of threat.” They all smiled, knowing how scary Professor McGonagall could be when she wanted to.
Hermione hadn’t really seen Draco since their talk with McGonagall. She had, however, gotten her first letter from Damien since coming to Hogwarts. It appeared in her lap while she was in the Gryffindor common room.
“Is that from your pen-pal?” Ron asked her from his place playing wizard’s chess with Harry.
“Yeah, I’ll just head upstairs; I don’t have my special kit with me.” That was a lie, it was in her bag, but it just felt awkward to read her letters from Damien when she was with Harry and Ron. As far as she knew, they had hit it off pretty well with their pen-pals too. Come to think of it, she should probably ask them about it more, she didn’t really know how that was going.
So, school’s started again. That’s always fun. haha. Though I will admit, it gives me something to do, which is nice. I was kind of bored over the summer, didn’t really have a purpose. In answer to your previous questions, I would much rather only be able to whisper than only be able to shout, whispering is seductive, shouting is not. And my favorite potion to brew is Amortentia- who wouldn’t love smelling the smell that most appeals to you? If you had to lose the ability of one of your senses for the rest of your life, which would you choose? And what is your favorite location in all of Hogwarts? Hope school is treating you well.
Hermione quickly penned her reply and returned to the common room.
“How is you pen-pal?” Harry looked at her as she sat down on the couch.
“Good, we are still getting along, asking each other questions.” Ron snorted at that.
“You guys must have asked each other every question in the book by now.” Hermione smiled at that.
“I’ve been meaning to ask you two, how has it been going with your pen-pals, you never really talk about it and I never thought to ask?” The boys exchanged looks. Harry spoke for the both of them, obviously they had talked to each other about it.
“We are both clearly exchanging letters with girls. They write like such girls. It’s not too bad, but girls can be so annoying sometimes, you know?” Hermione was kind of insulted. She knew that the boys were like brothers to her, but sometimes she really wondered whether they saw her as a sister, or as a brother.
“Well, I don’t know if you two have noticed, but I am a girl. I write like a girl, talk like a girl, do everything like a girl, because I am a girl. So I’m sorry if I don’t join you in your annoyance with my gender.” With that she stalked off. She went to the owlry. She really needed to send a letter. She quickly got out her quill and a spare bit of parchment, she called over her owl and tied a quick note to his leg. She watched as Henry, her owl, flew off with her note.
Hermione was on edge the whole next day. She wasn’t talking to Ron and Harry, and it seemed that she had shocked them enough that they weren’t ready to talk to her either.
Draco watched as an owl flew towards him at breakfast that morning. Who in the world would be writing to him, his pen-pals letters always just appeared. He untied the note and the owl flew away immediately, not waiting for a reply. It was simple.
I just blew up at my mates, I need an alternative way to blow off steam, please meet me in our common room tonight at eight.
He was glad she had made the first move. He couldn’t look like he needed the mudblood for anything, but he too needed to vent. He was back at school, hanging with Blaise and Pansy. It was great to see his friends again, but they didn’t get it, they hadn’t even been involved in the war. They had been safe at home while their parents supported the wrong side; he had been forcefully thrust into the middle of it all. So he couldn’t really talk to them about it.
Just like Hermione, Draco spent the whole day on edge, but for different reasons. She was worried he wouldn’t show, he was excited about the prospects of getting pissed at someone and having it be ok. Plus, he had gotten a letter from his pen-pal, and he always enjoyed those, though he’d never tell anyone that, he even spent most nights complaining about it to his housemates.
Eight o’clock rolled around and Hermione was sitting in the Head’s common room reading a book. She wasn’t sure if he would show, but she sincerely hoped so. At eight fifteen she was almost going to leave, but she didn’t want to deal with Harry and Ron, so she just snuggled deeper into the couch and kept reading. At eight thirty Draco strolled in. His eyes lit up when he saw her sitting on the couch.
“Good, you’re still here, I worried you would have left.” Hermione glared at him.
“You are a bloody half hour late! I almost did leave, but I have every right to be here and didn’t want to face my wanker mates, so I decided to stay. You are such a prick. You have no respect for anyone but yourself, you are selfish, I wouldn’t be surprised if you ended up married to yourself, or a mirror maybe, you self-absorbed jerk.” Hermione huffed, it felt good to get that all off of her chest. Draco grinned.
“Why thank you! And I’ll have you know, I almost showed up at eight, but I figured that showing up late would piss you off and give you a chance to rant, which is why we are here isn’t it? So I was just being utterly unselfish and very not self-absorbed. So ha! You are wrong! Little miss know-it-all is wrong!” He laughed, glad to yell at someone, or, rather, not to yell, more to be snarky and sarcastic and not get them mad at him for it. Hermione was grinning at him.
“Well, I thank you for the consideration, but you were being selfish, you knew I’d blow up and then you could point that out and blow off your own steam, you love being right so much that you set it up for me to be wrong, so I still stand by all of my previous statements, so HA!” They stared at each other for a few seconds before they both burst into hysterical laughter. Draco was, unfortunately, the only one of them that was standing, so eventually he was laughing so hard that his knees gave out and he fell to the ground. He just lay down and kept laughing.
Eventually they calmed down and got back to bickering. They got an elf to bring them up some snacks at Hermione ordered herself a pumpkin tea while Draco asked for cinnamon tea. They stayed like that for the next three hours, just pissing each other off. In the end they did a bit of planning as heads, and then they went their separate ways, returning to their common rooms and their oppressive lives.
This pattern repeated itself over the next few weeks. Like in the summer the two started off by meeting around twice a week to fight. This eventually had to change.
“Hey Granger…” They were sitting in their common room after fighting for an hour or two. They were about to start work on the Halloween party when Draco spoke up.
“Yeah?” His voice had sounded nervous almost, hesitant, so naturally Hermione was intrigued.
“I was wondering, well, we’ve kind of fallen into the same pattern from over the summer.” That wasn’t a question, so Hermione just raised her eyebrows at him inquisitively. “School isn’t like summer. In the summer I was alone and only had my house elf calling me Master Malfoy all day, but here, here I interact with so many other people all day.”
Hermione was surprised to find that she was hurt. She was pretty sure he was going to say that he no longer needed to vent and tell her that he was going to stop coming. She thought that she wouldn’t care, but she did. In a weird, kind of screwed up way, she enjoyed her evenings with Malfoy, she was sad that they were ending.
But they weren’t. “I find it so much more frustrating than in the summer. I get closer and closer to blowing up each day between our meetings, sometimes I don’t make it, I explode. And even when I do make it, it’s so stressful and tense each other day that it makes it less fun to be in school. So I was wondering if we could make this daily. Just come here after dinner, vent, if it becomes too time consuming we could do homework while pissing each other off, but I can’t meet just twice a week, the idiots in this school drive me up the wall every day.” Hermione surprised herself again when she breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing him say that. She gave him a shy smile.
“I think that sounds perfect. I totally agree. I spent all my time with Harry and Ron over the summer, but I didn’t realize how much harder it was once there were that many more people. Entering the common room is tough, even the mutterings under my breath insult someone. I would love to vent every day.” Draco smiled. Then they noticed that they were having some kind of moment and they both coughed before moving on to talking about Halloween.
So they started meeting every day after dinner. The boys asked where it was she went all the time, but she just gave vague answers. Sometimes she told them that she went on a walk to let out the stresses of the day, which was at least half true, she was letting out stress. Sometimes she said that she was meeting with Malfoy to do heads stuff, which was also part true. Most of the time she just shrugged.
Draco had been right. With the increased time commitment to venting they needed to get some of their work done during that time if they wanted to remain the top two students in their year. But, since they were the top two students, they had all the same classes and were both good at all subjects, so doing homework together was never a hassle. They began to help each other without even realizing it.
“No, it’s two, not three lacewing flies.” Hermione pointed to the place where Draco had written the wrong value of the ingredient. She didn’t say it rudely, like she did everything else that they said to one another, rather, absentmindedly as she worked on her own potions essay.
“Oh, right. And it has the potential side effect of boils if it isn’t heated hot enough, don’t forget.” Hermione nodded, scribbling that down.
They still fought, all the time, but they needed to get it done and it didn’t help anyone to do it separately when they were working on the same homework.
Hermione had been in a good mood the past week or so. She had been venting every evening with Malfoy, and she had been exchanging letters multiple times a day with Damien. She went to her room that Friday after dinner, having gotten a letter during dinner, deciding to reply quickly before heading down to meet Malfoy.
I got your last letter during dinner, scared the crap out of me to have it appear in my lap while I was eating. I would have to say that I would rather never be able to express my true feelings than always say everything that I think, but that’s a tough one. My favorite season is Autumn, I can’t believe we had never asked that before. I love to see the leaves change color. What is your favorite day of the week? Would you rather be physically stuck to your enemy for the rest of your life, or never be able to touch the person you love? Hope your day ends well! Have an awesome weekend!
She sealed her letter and it disappeared. She then quickly made her way down to the common room. Draco was already there. He was reading a letter.
“Hey” he nodded his head at her, silently saying ‘hey’ too. Then he looked up.
“Just reading a letter from my pen-pal. I’ll respond latter. You look positively atrocious today, like a total pig.” Hermione smiled.
Of course, Draco and Hermione did actually plan stuff during their evenings together, and soon enough it was October. They had agreed to have the Great Hall decorated with pumpkins, but no straw or hay, people were always allergic. They had Indian corn and gourds along with the typical pumpkins. They decided to have a small event, to get everyone in the Halloween spirit.
They pinned the announcement on every house bulletin board.
Pumpkin Carving Contest!
On Saturday, October 15th
Epic house competition and the winner gets house points
In the Great Hall at 2pm(there will be food and drinks)
They worked hard to get Hagrid to agree to donating his pumpkin patch so they would have pumpkins to carve, they had to talk to McGonagall about the utensils used to carve them, since they didn’t want to provide Slytherins and Gryffindors with too sharp of objects when they were together being competitive. They had decorated the hall, talked to the elves about themed food and beverages: obviously pumpkin juice was perfect for the occasion, along with pumpkin pie, pumpkin bagels with pumpkin crème cheese, pumpkin lattes, along with other non-pumpkin items.
The event finally came. Hermione was a bit nervous. It was their first event as heads; she wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. She told the boys that she would meet them there; she wanted to be the first one there, to make sure everything was perfect. She wasn’t the first one there.
“Malfoy,” she was surprised, to say the least. “You’re here rather early. What’s up?” He turned around to look at her.
“I just wanted to make sure everything was set and ready.” She smiled, having had the same intentions. “Besides, if I’m going to win the competition I need the extra time to scope out the very best pumpkin.” He smirked at her as she shook her head.
“You know you can’t do that, who would be judge with me. We need to be unbiased judges, which is why there needs to be one judge from each house. I thought I would represent Gryffindor, you would represent Slytherin, I asked Hannah Abbot to represent Hufflepuff, and Cho Chang to represent Ravenclaw. I figured that way it would be most fair.” Draco hadn’t known that she had planned that, but it made sense. “Though, if you really want to compete I could always give the honorary position of judge to Blaise Zabini, he seems like a good kid.” Draco snorted at that.
“No, I’ll do it. No one else in my house would even consider working with you and the other two, you are lucky I’m so nice.” It was Hermione’s turn to snort. “Hey,” Draco mocked being offended. “I can be nice when I want to be.” Hermione gave him a skeptical look.
“More like when it is convenient for you to be. I would like to see you try to be nice to everyone, even for just one day.”
“Is that a bet? Or a dare?” Hermione laughed.
“No, then you would do it, and then I would not only be proven wrong, but I would have had to endure a whole day of nice Malfoy, I think I would be sick before the day ended.” They laughed. McGonagall came in just then. She frowned a bit at their laughter, thinking something must be up.
“What’s going on here?” They stopped laughing and looked at her.
“We were just making sure everything was ready for the competition” Draco told her smoothly. “We procured one judge from each house, with Granger and I representing our houses.” McGonagall frowned.
“Her name is Hermione you know.” Both students just looked at her.
“Professor, I call him Malfoy, it’s no big deal, first names would just be weird.” She seemed to accept that. “Well, it’s about to start, so I guess we should officially open the doors.” She smiled as she and Draco each grabbed one of the two large doors to the Great Hall. “One, two, three” they pushed them open, letting in the students who were already gathered outside.
AN: Hope you like the chapter, I had major writers block until I deleted a portion, wrote all this, and then added the deleted portion back in. haha. There may be a break before an update, as I’m preparing for NaNoWriMo, and then NaNoWriMo is all of November, but I’ll do my best. Let me know what you think and if you have ideas for question to be in the letters.
Thanks to Ivory Ollivander for providing the inspiration for some of the questions in this chapter, you rock!
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